Verizon is exploring a sale of assets including Yahoo and AOL, as the telecommunications giant looks to exit an expensive and unsuccessful bet on digital media, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The sales process, which includes private-equity firm Apollo Global could lead to a deal worth $4 billion to $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter—assuming there is one. Other details couldn’t be learned.
Verizon splashed out billions of dollars assembling a portfolio of once-dominant websites, including AOL in 2015, and Yahoo in 2017, paying more than $9 billion in total to acquire the pair.
Verizon, the country’s largest wireless carrier in terms of subscribers, bought the websites intending to resurrect brands that had lost traffic since their heyday but still counted a base of hundreds of millions of account holders.
It reorganized the businesses in 2017 under former AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong, dubbing the combined division “Oath” and signaling its intention to go head to head with digital-advertising powerhouses like AlphabetInc.’s Google and FacebookInc.
Yahoo and AOL, born during the age of desktop PCs hooked up to dial-up Internet connections, managed to capture more ad dollars but struggled to reach audiences that had shifted their attention to mobile apps.